Turkey’s total exports increased by 41.7 percent to USD 255.8 billion in 2023 compared to 2019, the year before the pandemic, while the export value per kg increased by a limited 27.6 percent from USD 1.23 to USD 1.57. While the unit value of exports increased slightly, it continued to lag behind the prices of imported products. While the increase in the unit value of imports between 2019 and 2023 was 31.5 percent, the increase in the value of exports remained at 16.7 percent.
In other words, the post-pandemic unit value increase, which was mainly driven by the rise in commodity and energy prices and labor costs, remained at around half the level of imports on the export side. High gold imports also played an important role in widening the gap.
Value increased slightly, quantity contracted sharply
General exports, consisting of 3 main sectors as agriculture, industry and mining and 26 subcategories, experienced a challenging period in 2023, the 100th anniversary of the Turkish Republic, due to the contraction in the main markets. In the whole year, exports increased by a limited 0.6 percent to USD 255.8 billion, while there was a contraction in terms of quantity by 9.6 percent. In a period when demand was cut all over the world and added value came to the fore, the unit value of exports again showed a limited increase. The external term of exports (unit value) was 27 percent above 2019 and 9 percent above last year.
Value of agricultural products decreased by 7
Last year, on the basis of 3 main categories as agriculture, industry and mining, the highest increase in export unit value was experienced in the industrial sector with 20 percent. In the industrial sector, the export value per kg, which was USD 1.81 in the previous year, rose to USD 2.17. While the export value per kg in the mining sector increased by 11 percent from USD 0.18 to USD 0.20, there was a decrease in agriculture. The export value per kg in this sector decreased by 7 percent from USD 1.13 to USD 1.05. Related data show that the industrial sector led the increase in the value of exports.
Export unit value excluding jewelry at USD 1.42
The 3 main sectors are divided into 26 sub-categories. When these categories are analyzed, it is seen that the sector with the highest export value is the jewelry sector this year, as in previous years. The export value per kg in this category increased by 10 percent compared to last year to USD 654. In the past 10 years, the highest value in this category was reached in 2016 with USD 854. In 2019, the year before the pandemic, the export value per kg in the jewelry sector was USD 664. On the other hand, according to publicly available data, the export value per kg, which was USD 1.44 last year, decreases to USD 1.42 when the jewelry sector is excluded.
2nd highest export value in the defense industry
The defense industry followed the jewelry sector in export value. The sector, which increased its export value per kg by 13.68 percent compared to last year to USD 64.88, reached the highest export value per kg in its history. The export value per kg in this category was USD 61.91 in 2019 and USD 57 last year. The defense industry was followed by the ready-to-wear sector, as in previous years. Ready-to-wear, which is the 3rd sector with the highest value exports, ranked 3rd in export value per kg. In the sector, which contracted by 9.2 percent in exports last year, the export value per kg increased from USD 14.13 to USD 15.13. This means an increase of 7.08 percent. In export value per kg, the ready-to-wear sector was followed by leather and leather products with USD 11.35, ships and yachts with USD 10.01, and the automotive sector with USD 7.91.
Fur backed the leather industry
In the leather sector, which has the 4th highest export value per kg with USD 11.35, it is seen that the fur category has an important export value when looking at the sub-categories. The export value per kg in this category increased to USD 135 last year and played an important role in making the leather sector the 4th sector with the highest export value.
Lowest value in cement
The sector with the lowest export unit value was cement with USD 0.17. Although cement was the lowest in export value per kg, it ranked 11th among 26 sectors in the rate of increase. In the lowest export value per kg, the cement sector was followed by mining with USD 0.20, fresh fruits and vegetables with USD 0.75 and cereals with USD 0.84.
Export value per kg increased in 20 sectors, decreased in 6
According to 2023 export data, 20 of the 26 sectors subject to exports experienced an increase in export value per kg, while 6 saw a decrease. The highest rate of increase was experienced in the olive and olive oil sector. The export value per kg in this sector increased by 52.99 percent from USD 2.4 to USD 3.73. It was followed by fresh fruits and vegetables with an increase of 27.12 percent, machinery with an increase of 20 percent and hazelnuts and hazelnut products with an increase of 17.74 percent. In 2023, the export value per kg of hazelnuts and hazelnut products was realized as USD 6.57. Although the value in question indicates an increase compared to last year, it was far behind the USD 11.77 in 2015.